Popular TV shows often experience big changes from season to season, and it’s not uncommon for showrunners to alter the direction of a major characters’ storyline. But the second season premiere of Kevin Can Wait entailed an incredibly awkward sitcom death, and fans are truly bewildered by how the show’s creators handled it all.
The CBS sitcom starring Kevin James is one of the most popular on TV right now, starring James as a lovable retired cop and dad of three. In the show’s first season, actress Erinn Hayes starred as Kevin’s wife, Donna…that is, until she was abruptly killed off between Seasons 1 and 2.
In August, showrunners announced that Hayes would not return for the second season, with actress Leah Remini replacing her as Kevin’s romantic interest. Remini famously played James’ onscreen wife in his previous hit sitcom, King of Queens. It seemed like an odd decision to fans of the show — made even odder by the way the storyline was handled.
The season premiere addressed Donna’s death in under a minute, revealing it had been over a year since she died (Kevin appears mildly upset when he receives a coupon from Donna’s gym). Ouch.
Needless to say, fans were not thrilled with the way the show glossed over Donna’s absence, taking to Twitter to react in real-time.
Some fans were understandably shocked.
Others expressed that they weren’t going to continue watching the show.
And some joked about which other characters might be sacrificed to make it a full-blown return to King of Queens..
Only time will tell how Remini fits in as a series regular and if the writers will continue to keep the memory of Donna alive in stories or flashbacks. And hopefully the rest of the cast is safe from sudden death…for now.